German athletics star Alica Schmidt turned down a lucrative sponsorship offer

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A German track star, who has been dubbed the “world’s sexiest athlete”, says she turned down a hefty payday from a “well-known” sponsor, despite barely earning money from her sport.

Alica Schmidt, 25, who has garnered millions of followers on social media, says she recently turned down a sponsorship that would have paid out thousands of dollars to her because she wasn’t completely sold on the company, as the New York Post reports.

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“Two months ago I received an offer from a well-known brand. But I wasn’t 100 per cent behind it,” Schmidt told the OMR podcast according to the German newspaper Bild.

“I don’t feel comfortable with that. That would have been in the mid to high six figures. For a campaign.”

Schmidt earns her income from social media, sponsors, partnerships and even a small salary as a member of the German national team.

In October, she revealed athletes on the national team only get paid approximately US$739 ($1,133) a month in sponsorship deals which are streamlined through Sporthilfe, the German sports aid foundation that provides financial support to the country’s top athletes.

At the time she also said athletes can receive money through a team or organisation they are a part of like Schmidt’s SC Charlottenburg, along with winning prizes at races.

Schmidt, who is currently enrolled in a remote learning course for media and communications management, has also made her presence known in the modelling industry when not running or learning.

The influencer, who has a clothing line with fashion company Hugo Boss, walked the runway for the designer at the 2023 Milan Fashion Week.

Schmidt’s Instagram, which boasts nearly 5 million followers, features a mix of the 25-year-old running and competing in track events along with paid partnership posts featuring her campaign with Boss.

The athlete, who went to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with the national team but did not compete, is hoping to qualify for the Paris Games this summer.

But she needs to drop her time by one second as her personal best is 52.8.

“You have to go beyond your limits every day. It also often happens that I throw up after training, because that’s how you suffer.” she told the podcast.

“It’s also the best feeling when you’ve done it and pushed yourself and noticed that progress somewhere.”

The German’s rise to fame came in the fall of 2020 when she raced and easily won a 400-metre race against soccer star and compatriot Mats Hummels.

Schmidt was asked if she would beat other footballers in a race, including French star Kylian Mbappé.

“I can’t say, it depends on the distance,” she said. “I have no chance at 100 metres because I’m not the fastest.

“But definitely at 400 metres. I’m almost certain that I can beat any footballer.”

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission